Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 10:14AM CDT

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 15,499

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First Bomp
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
HOMECOMING! FIRST AID, the Autobots' Chief Medical Officer, returns to the Lost Light to find that everything has changed: the ship is now under the command of the treacherous GETAWAY, half of his closest friends are missing, and-most shocking of all-the crew is actually making progress...

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10
THIS close


Story

It's been a really long while since we last saw the Lost Light (ship) in its titular series, at least for more than a corner of a panel shot of the outside, and this issue has been expected by a lot of readers in generally two large camps of positive and negative apprehension. How did it fare? I find myself squarely between both.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10
#same


James Roberts' script brings First Aid and the Protectobots - and makes a running gag out of Rook's presence too that will sound familiar to the fandom (at least in the opening paragraph, if not the issue itself) - in a way that will please readers that wanted to see more of First Aid, that is most definitely a given. Along with him, and I'm thinking of Riptide and Mirage in particular, bring very much plenty of their core characteristics to a plotting that needs anchors.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10
Like canonical linchpin Rook


On the other side, there are two major points I disagree with in the issue: the twisting of the plot - which is an extremely gigantic spoiler to talk about here, so see below - and the disparity of treatment of character between Getaway and Megatron. Namely: how do you turn a character (Getaway) that has had legitimate motives for action, while terrible morals in doing said action, I am not disputing that and never have, into the Worst Character Ever by playing with issues of narcissism, despotry and manipulation - points he entirely 'redeemed' in the actual despot (Megatron) said character was going against?

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10
Look, I'm torn, ok?


There are obviously two more issues to make the writing work, including the frustrating take on Getaway so far that may be more justified (or at least explained, somehow), but I come away from this book with a feeling that The Twist has reduced that space significantly - and without good reason - and limit some character work that could've otherwise intervened. More below.


Art

In terms of the visual work, however, I believe this to be one of the best displays of patient and careful work by Jack Lawrence, who has a nowhere-near-easy job of laying out scenes and panels in such a way that can hint at what might be actually taking place without revealing anything until it actually is. But take a close look at the crowd scenes, on a second read, and compare to the individual shots.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10
Sample panel


What I also really appreciate, in the same way as that last point about the lineart, is how Joana Lafuente manages to bring a really quite dark tone overall by juxtaposing dull grey and brown palettes from the backgrounds with the otherwise brighter coloured characters and scenes - you know something just isn't quite right by just looking at it.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10
Other than the screeching, I mean


As a result, Tom B. Long work on letters doesn't have as much scope to include big fancy games, but the subtle plays with font sizes do lend themselves to the same effect as both art and colours. And he still manages to squeeze in some satisfying soundwords, too. I chose the Alex Milne and Josh Perez cover for the review thumbnail as a spotlighting reminder of the factions, but you can find all of the covers for the book right here, in our database entry.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

I was disappointed, as you may have been able to tell through the review. I was disappointed not because of the entirely made-up feud between #TeamRodimus and #GetawayDidNothingWrong (that neither side takes seriously except when people step in and think they both do), but at how perceptions of what makes a villain have worrying ramifications since Megatron's redemption and Getaway's first introduction. Yes, the series is character-driven for the most part, or at least latches on to the characters to drive its plot, but I feel there's something missing from a bigger ethical, moral picture. Is Getaway a lying populist riding a wave of actual malcontent? Yes. Does that mean that everyone who is following him is exactly the same? No. Are we in danger of equating the two? Yes. Was Megatron given the same damning treatment during and after a genocide trial..? Why are we so clearly manipulated as readers by the narrative?

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10
*coff*


Some of the characters are well written, well pitted against or with each other, but there are enough that are brought to the limit of their bio tag-line instead of using that as a core to make me not enjoy what the script might be trying to do with that comment. And I feel it detracts a lot from the space that the visual side of the story - for a recurring theme seen in all of TAAO for example - has to expand on how to deal with manipulation and the type of sequence that closes the book.

. :SG-BOTS: :SG-BOTS: :SG-BOTS: out of :SG-BOTS: :SG-BOTS: :SG-BOTS: :SG-BOTS: :SG-BOTS:
Credit(s): IDW
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Re: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10 (1917293)
Posted by Randomhero on October 18th, 2017 @ 10:45am CDT
Yeah I agree with a lot of your thoughts. I haven’t been shy to say Lost Light and a lot of MTMTE hasn’t worked for me as a comic reader becuase Roberts writes this series like a TV show and not a comic a lot and sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t.

Yes not everyone may know of what horifficic things Getaway is doing but we don’t know yet. There’s a lot of guys in this memeory loop that are there and lying and are aware of what’s going on and like I said with issue 50 I’m not happy with a lot of these beloved characters being okay with this stuff. It feels wrong and it is wrong. People like Perceptor, Inferno, Hoist, and Xarron. Xarron who is established as someone in charge of the judicial system in IDW is lyingin this issue and is fine with what’s going on. And I don’t want anyone jumping on with “well we can’t trust what we’re seeing becuase it’s a memeory look” it’s a loop not shadow play. The way it’s fully explained is their minds are manipulated to go with what’s going on but are stuck in a situation that goes in circles. It’s not altered in a sense to sway them one way or another. It’s not mneumosurgeon changing facts.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10 (1917304)
Posted by Va'al on October 18th, 2017 @ 11:21am CDT
Oh don't get me wrong: Getaway is a piece of shit. Always has been since introduction in IDWverse.

So was Megatron. A genocidal piece of shit. And he was redeemed, made charismatic, and endeared to the reader.

I am frustrated by how the two are being used by the narrative in almost opposite ways, to condemn one while shrugging away the other. While both being pieces of shit.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10 (1917310)
Posted by Randomhero on October 18th, 2017 @ 11:38am CDT
I think he’s just a terrible character. He’s willing to murder innocent autobots(tailgate) to what? Get revenge on Megatron? Okay? At what cost? If this was a Prowl thing becuase let’s be honest this is something Prowl would do. Put his own agents in the ship to benefit his own means-something he’s done before- and get rid of Megatron but we know from both point of views-getaway’s(#50)and Prowl’s(Titans Return story)- they’re not working together. I’m left asking “why are you an autobot? you don’t believe in the cause”

I think Getaway is just a poorly made character. his goal is to find the knights but why? He’s a war born cold constructed autobot. He didn’t live on cybertron before the war and he’s never lived in peace times so what’s his motivation? To be better than Rodimus? Congrats. You kinda already won
Re: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10 (1917312)
Posted by Counterpunch on October 18th, 2017 @ 11:40am CDT
My somewhat cluttered thoughts on my least favorite issue of the entire run...

All this, must be taken with three caveats:
1. Subsequent issues may make my complaints irrelevant. But if we're going to play with false memories and timelines, then it's a criticism the author has to accept the possibility of.
2. Jokes about Getaway aside. My dislike of the issue isn't a defense of the character or the running gag we've had with him.
3. I love the MtMtE series. I really do. I don't think that it's above criticism though and I would put heavy emphasis on blaming the editorial process for a lack of creative control here.


On to my points:
1. Getaway and Megatron's perceived villainy by the author is a major issue. The scope of Megatron's crimes is so broad, so absurdly horrid, that there is a moral vacuum left by embracing his redemption arc while villainous the actions of the characters who are forced to deal with it under an uncertain command structure are not put in context or rationally explained to the reader.

Going back to when the mutiny happened, a lot of otherwise sensible people were standing with (literally) Getaway in support. It doesn't line up with him being manically evil in a need to cover up what he's doing. Rationally, the crew only needs to explain to the Protectabots that they sent the Galactic Authority to collect Megatron because he was "corrupting" the crew.

The crew purposely let Getaway out to deal with a situation they saw as untenable. They can be wrong. They can be misguided. However they made a rational decision. They made a decision that could not have been made if someone like Perceptor sensed at all that Getaway was manically evil or villainous.

Parts don't fit.

2. I feel like the failure here is one of editing. The Mutineer's trilogy is 1/3rd over with an almost wasted issue. If these things ACTUALLY happened, it may matter. If the reality of the following events is different, a whole book was used to basically say: Getaway is a sleazy Prowl, which is something we already knew and is wasted effort. Proper editing or reigning in the author would have better regulated page real estate.

So either these things in the story happened and the character arcs and premise of rational behavior is in question or they didn't happen and the issue is a $3.99 red herring, which does not provide proper answers for the investment of the reader's time.

3. Characters are edging towards displaying the extreme parts of their personalities or are being written to represent an ideal character trait (for good or worse) rather than have a core guiding principle that their actions cue off of. In a way, it's kind of like how Roberts has turned Rodimus from a cavalier, but clever leader into a charismatic Homer Simpson, who while dramatically immature, still makes things happen. I began to think that it was all purposeful, that he was writing a deeply clever Rodimus, but I think that's in doubt now. There needs to be a pay off, the kind that the earlier MtMtE books did so well with characters like Swerve, Minimus, Whirl, or Cyclonus showing a depth to their personality quirks that puts context to their actions.

I love the series, but I really feel like the team that is supposed to guide the story parameters is allowing the author to do whatever on a monthly basis instead of taking a structured view of the series and keep the worth of each issue and character decision in context of the larger book.

Now, hopefully I'll be wrong and hopefully my take is limited by the serial nature of the comics. Lost Light has been a lost opportunity in my opinion so far. It's doing too much stuff and not doing enough to ground the book around its own beginning premise.

The Lost Light is getting to be a proper name in a way. The guiding light and direction of this character centric book is dimming.

For me, this issue is a :BOT: out of :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:

If subsequent issues put a better context on the plot devices employed here, I might view it in a more positive light.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10 (1917313)
Posted by Randomhero on October 18th, 2017 @ 11:46am CDT
Well you’re wrong on creative control. Roberts has the most creative control out of all the writers. He’s admitted that several times and it shows with MTMTE/LL’s extremely minimal or no contribution to the event books. He’s allowed to do what he wants for the most part.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10 (1917314)
Posted by ScottyP on October 18th, 2017 @ 11:49am CDT
My way too brief comment (on lunch break, at work, on phone) is that I quite enjoyed it. Just wanted to put that out there since the comments here so far are completely bumming me out.

That said, negative bend aside, there are some very well thought points here I plan to come back to this evening. Agreed with some of the critique, uncertain about some other points.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10 (1917316)
Posted by Randomhero on October 18th, 2017 @ 12:00pm CDT
Well I’m not go lie and say “it’s good becuase it’s lost Light/MTMTE and it’s james Roberts”. There’s been enough of that blind praise for years now and I know I’ll get flack for that but we all know it’s around and again I’ll say this and I’ll get flack for it; the absence of Alex Milne has shown some that this book has flaws in the storytelling. The fact that some people who have quit reading Lost Ligjt and now say they will be coming back for that one issue becuase “the band is back together” shows that. People who claim they haven’t read anything in over a year will buy it becuase Alex. That’s ridiculous.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10 (1917320)
Posted by william-james88 on October 18th, 2017 @ 12:14pm CDT
Va'al wrote:
I am frustrated by how the two are being used by the narrative in almost opposite ways, to condemn one while shrugging away the other. While both being pieces of ****.

I really feel its due to the scope at play and the legacy o the characters. Getaway is a whipping boy, I dont really have a better way to say that. His actions are more on a micro level and easier to see him as a piece of shit.

Megatron is a piece of shit on a grand scale to the point where its harder to judge by comparison. The cause was greater, the stakes were higher, the result was a devastation of their world from both sides.

I feel its like comparing a politician vs some guy who bumped into you on the subway, making you spill your coffee on yourself and not saying sorry while just walking away. That politician probably does some stuff you really dont agree with which could lead to devastating circumstances (ie: removing subvention of social programs to finance more war efforts) but come on, that guy on the subway was a real asshole, he didnt even say sorry, WTF!?!?!
Re: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10 (1917322)
Posted by Randomhero on October 18th, 2017 @ 12:20pm CDT
Getaway ain’t a whipping boy or just some guy. He’s a member of Prowls secret intelligence and police. That’s pretty high up on a threat level.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10 (1917340)
Posted by Counterpunch on October 18th, 2017 @ 1:19pm CDT
Randomhero wrote:Well you’re wrong on creative control. Roberts has the most creative control out of all the writers. He’s admitted that several times and it shows with MTMTE/LL’s extremely minimal or no contribution to the event books. He’s allowed to do what he wants for the most part.


Not what I was saying.

I'm saying that it seems like there's no support around the writer to suggest pacing corrections or individual issue page management.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10 (1917341)
Posted by william-james88 on October 18th, 2017 @ 1:20pm CDT
Randomhero wrote:Getaway ain’t a whipping boy or just some guy. He’s a member of Prowls secret intelligence and police. That’s pretty high up on a threat level.

The whipping boy comment was in reference to how the readership/author may see him, how he is treated by us, not his actual in story function/title.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10 (1917345)
Posted by Counterpunch on October 18th, 2017 @ 1:30pm CDT
william-james88 wrote:
Randomhero wrote:Getaway ain’t a whipping boy or just some guy. He’s a member of Prowls secret intelligence and police. That’s pretty high up on a threat level.

The whipping boy comment was in reference to how the readership/author may see him, how he is treated by us, not his actual in story function/title.


Agreed.

As for this issue, he's being portrayed to make a point rather than cue off his previously rational though jerkass behavior.

(unless all this cartoon villainy is merely part of the dream and isn't how it truly played out)
Re: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10 (1917355)
Posted by Kurona on October 18th, 2017 @ 1:50pm CDT
Counterpunch wrote:
(unless all this cartoon villainy is merely part of the dream and isn't how it truly played out)

We need to go deeper.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10 (1917372)
Posted by Randomhero on October 18th, 2017 @ 2:20pm CDT
Counterpunch wrote:
william-james88 wrote:
Randomhero wrote:Getaway ain’t a whipping boy or just some guy. He’s a member of Prowls secret intelligence and police. That’s pretty high up on a threat level.

The whipping boy comment was in reference to how the readership/author may see him, how he is treated by us, not his actual in story function/title.


Agreed.

As for this issue, he's being portrayed to make a point rather than cue off his previously rational though jerkass behavior.

(unless all this cartoon villainy is merely part of the dream and isn't how it truly played out)


No this is exactly how Getaway was in season two. When he was first reintroduced in season two he was pushing drinks in tailgates face and telling him everything he wanted to hear. A lot of people were saying they were getting rape like vibes in how he was treating and everyone was hoping Cyclonus would kill him for it. It wasn’t just a sly rational behavior, it was fully “something is going here” just like this.



It’s not a dream it’s a memeory. A looped memory what we saw is what happened. If it was a dream or something completely different why be so horrific? Instead of revealing what’s really going on it’d be more to sway them to joining.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10 (1917373)
Posted by ScottyP on October 18th, 2017 @ 2:23pm CDT
Kurona wrote:
Counterpunch wrote:
(unless all this cartoon villainy is merely part of the dream and isn't how it truly played out)

We need to go deeper.
Nah, it's 2017, just check Twitter https://twitter.com/jroberts332/status/ ... 7452993538
Re: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10 (1917380)
Posted by Kurona on October 18th, 2017 @ 2:32pm CDT
ScottyP wrote:
Kurona wrote:
Counterpunch wrote:
(unless all this cartoon villainy is merely part of the dream and isn't how it truly played out)

We need to go deeper.
Nah, it's 2017, just check Twitter https://twitter.com/jroberts332/status/ ... 7452993538

That's boring though [-(
Re: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10 (1917387)
Posted by Counterpunch on October 18th, 2017 @ 2:39pm CDT
Randomhero wrote:
Counterpunch wrote:
william-james88 wrote:
Randomhero wrote:Getaway ain’t a whipping boy or just some guy. He’s a member of Prowls secret intelligence and police. That’s pretty high up on a threat level.

The whipping boy comment was in reference to how the readership/author may see him, how he is treated by us, not his actual in story function/title.


Agreed.

As for this issue, he's being portrayed to make a point rather than cue off his previously rational though jerkass behavior.

(unless all this cartoon villainy is merely part of the dream and isn't how it truly played out)


No this is exactly how Getaway was in season two. When he was first reintroduced in season two he was pushing drinks in tailgates face and telling him everything he wanted to hear. A lot of people were saying they were getting rape like vibes in how he was treating and everyone was hoping Cyclonus would kill him for it. It wasn’t just a sly rational behavior, it was fully “something is going here” just like this.


That was some James Bond level spy work there. Manipulating the feelings of a gullible love interest to key off a dastardly plot.

Getaway is a bad guy. I repeat...he's doing awful things.

The difference is that before, he was doing it because it served his (and the rest of the crew's view) of a greater good. This all seems to be an exercise in emphasizing he's a immoral shitlord.

Remember when we thought Getaway abandoned Rodimus and the bunch to the DJD instead of the GA? This is similar, but served up in one issue without other plot devices to help sort it out, it's potentially in my opinion a poor character evolution.

This all comes about because the guy who led a 4 million year long genocidal crusade was suddenly put among his former opponents and given command and a pass for his transgressions. If you can't see the other side's difficulty accepting that and how it would push them to make ugly decisions themselves, the conversation is moot. Getaway is at the moment, the scapegoat. EVERYONE let Getaway out.

(unless he somehow forcefully changed their minds and everyone is victim to his BS)

[quote]It’s not a dream it’s a memeory. A looped memory what we saw is what happened. If it was a dream or something completely different why be so horrific? Instead of revealing what’s really going on it’d be more to sway them to joining.[/quote]

Fair enough about the memory.

But it's not like memory isn't something beyond manipulation here. The memory seemed to need to be horrible to keep the loop going. If it had a sensible conclusion, they could escape (is how I see it).
Re: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10 (1917425)
Posted by ScottyP on October 18th, 2017 @ 6:41pm CDT
Counterpunch wrote:The difference is that before, he was doing it because it served his (and the rest of the crew's view) of a greater good. This all seems to be an exercise in emphasizing he's a immoral shitlord.
If I dig through your earlier, longer post and this one, this is probably the one part that I would disagree with. For one, we know based on the Protectobots' conversation at the table that Mirage and First Aid would have been along with the Mutineers, at least in theory. Is Getaway lying to pry a wedge in his relationship with the others? Is he playing a game because he's hiding something from Prowl? Has Prowl given separate orders in between CW and this that we don't know about - especially considering he was in a combiner with Mirage and might have an understanding of how he feels about the situation? Are the Mutineers in Visages talking to First Aid following orders, or not wanting to hurt his feelings? Was the whole thing just "generally lie to them when they return and they'll probably get over it quickly and we can move on, and if not then we move in to harm them"? There's too much unknown - and you've pointed this out too, but I'm admittedly too caught up in the mystery to let this feeling take over to any significant capacity.
Re: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10 (1917461)
Posted by william-james88 on October 18th, 2017 @ 9:44pm CDT
Kurona wrote:
Counterpunch wrote:
(unless all this cartoon villainy is merely part of the dream and isn't how it truly played out)

We need to go deeper.


Re: Review of IDW Transformers: Lost Light #10 (1917462)
Posted by SureShot18 on October 18th, 2017 @ 9:50pm CDT
First of all, I loved the issue while reading it. So I’m kinda bummed that what I think is the best issue of Lost Light is still getting hate. It’s pretty obvious that the Protectobots and Mirage are in a time loop like Thunderclash. It appears to be Getaway’s go to solution for dissenters. I’d also say that clearly not everyone on the Lost Light is in agreement with Getaway. Riptide alludes that he is not the only one ,of course there’s Thunderclash, but there are possibly others as well. Hound for one did not seem entirely happy with Getaway’s leadership. My theory is that the only crew members ,besides Getaway, that are aware of everything are Atomizer and the other Security Team members. The others are either not being told the whole truth, being forced to follow orders, or perhaps Getaway used his nudge gun, which he presumably still has. I doubt that they too are in a time loop.

There are a few interesting things I’ve noticed myself and read about elsewhere though. First of all, one that may be of most importance (and credit goes to ZeroiaSD on TFW), Mainframe says that, “Finding the warren helped...”. A warren is a small mammal den, specifically rabbits. Brain module bite marks? Petrorabbits? Perceptor and Blaster are no where to be seen in the issue, I find it hard to believe that well-known characters like them wouldn’t be even shown in the background. Presumably their brain modules are in the engex. Finally, both First Aid and Riptide have gray Autobot symbols, while everyone else has red. Lots of interesting things being brought up in this issue.

Finally perhaps Roberts intended to make Getaway seem like a Megatron villain. Think about it, both of them were on the moral high ground at the beginning but then they did more and more terrible things “for the greater good” and they ended up with chewed on brain modules. So in the process of trying to get rid of Megatron, Getaway has essentially become him, albeit a less genocidal version.

Idk maybe I’m just spouting nonsense. *shrug*

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